Favorite Movies of All Time Part 3

Picks by Michelle Lynn Tackett

80: Texas Chainsaw Massacre, this movie made so many people upset with its dark tone and violence (although the movie doesn’t show a lot of violence). Over the years it has become a cult favorite among horror fans. It has some incredible scares, great acting, and some terrifying villains. Especially Leather Face, who will give you nightmares with his mask made of human skin. Do not watch this classic alone in the dark.

79: Beauty and the Beast (1991 Animated movie), this movie is pure magic. The timeless animation, voices, and story will always grip you. This is one of Disney’s best movies to date. It has aged very well when some of Disney’s past efforts have not. If you’re burned out on the current crop of Disney movies, watch this one. You’ll love it. Rating: 4 Stars

78: The Eye (2002 Asian Version), Hollywood became obsessed with remaking great Asian horror movies from the late 90s to the middle of the 2000s. It didn’t work out as the Asian version always turned out better. The Eye can be confusing if you’re not familiar with ghost stories from the East, but you don’t need to understand the mythology to know good scares. This movie has em in spades. Rating: 4 Stars

77: Superman (1979), It is hard to watch this movie now, but I would watch the heck out of this movie when I was young. Christopher Reeve embodied Superman and I have not seen any actor since come close to making me believe they were Superman. The action scenes are fun, that John Williams score is perfection, and Gene Hackman rips up the screen as Lex Luther. What a joy to watch. Rating: 4 Stars

76: Chinese Puzzle, Audrey Tautou is a gem. She will have another movie on this list, guess which one it is. She is like the modern Audrey Hepburn with her huge eyes and adorable smile. Every time she comes on the screen, she brightens it with her charm. Chinese Puzzle is a charming movie from start to finish. It is a movie about people who are trying to deal with life. A divorced dad, his ex-wife, their kids, his potential new girlfriend and more. This movie moves at such a good pace making it easy to watch. The genuine laughs and heart make this movie a winner. Seek this one out! Rating: 4 Stars

75: Secretary, oh the wonderful Maggie Gyllenhaal, she can put on some incredible performances. This movie is a perfect example of her talent. Think of this as 50 shades of Grey, only a million times better. The characters are likable, the story makes sense and the screenplay actually has a brain! This movie exposed the underbelly of people who love S&M in their relationships. The directing give it a 50s romantic comedy feel. This fits with the movie since Lee and Mr. Gray act like a 50s couple. The ending will make some feminist mad, but it shouldn’t. This is about choices, and how empowering choices can be. Rating: 4 Stars

74: Open Water. What a horror classic! This indie gem from Lionsgate is an example of film making with passion. Open Water is based on a true story about a couple who go on a trip, then things happen. The minimal use of music and wide angles gave this movie a different feel for a horror movie, and that works to perfection. The last 30 minutes will put you on pins and needles. The story is so simple, you think it wouldn’t work, but smart pacing and great directing can accomplish anything. A must watch for horror fans. Rating: 4 Stars

73: Wonder Woman, this 2017 comic book adaptation is one of my favorite comic book movies ever. Gal Gadot is a gold mine as Diana, Princess of the Amazon who finds a young man who crashes on the Island. She goes off on an adventure to help him. The story isn’t the most original, but this has a winning performance by Gal who brings warmth and kindness to Wonder Woman. Making this God seem human. That is a superpower! Rating: 4 Stars

72: American Hustle, Amy Adams is one of the best actors walking the planet. There is no other actress who can do what she can. Working with great actors like Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper who also put on sparkling performances, really gives this movie some shine. This movie crackles with energy and makes good use of some of the best modern talent. A sharp screenplay with smart characters completes this movie. Rating: 4 Stars

71: Bringing Up Baby, Katherine Hepburn+Cary Grant=Grandslam! The premise is a perfect set up for a comedy. A nerdy archeologist finds a priceless bone, and he has to get it to a location. He also has to babysit Katherine Hepburn who shines like a star. Howard Hawks did a great job with the comedy. Comedy has become a lost art, this movie shows what great comedies can be. There are times I laughed so much, I got exhausted from laughter. What a winner. I won’t give too much of the story away. Kate is on fire and Grant has better chemistry than she did with Spencer. How I miss comedies like this. Rating: 4 Stars

Photo Courtesy of: https://content.cambly.com/2016/07/25/beginner-lesson13-favorite-movie/

Where Are the Blue Collar Heroes?

Thor, Captain Marvel, The Hulk and Wonder Woman. These are great characters, but let’s be honest, how many of us can identify with them? Are any of us Thunder Gods? I highly doubt it, although I do get the feeling I can manipulate lighting sometimes (JK). These characters are great, do not get me wrong, but I do miss the days of Jake Sully, Sarah Connor, Ellen Ripley and Indiana Jones. We had regular people who went through extraordinary situations and we felt like we were along the ride. We could be the teacher who went globe trotting, or a waitress whose son would be the savior of mankind.

Why don’t Hollywood give us more characters we can relate to?

A little variety never hurts and too many heroes are out of reach now. We will never be them, nor can we relate to them. They are fun characters to watch, but Hollywood is doing too many white color Gods who don’t show a real struggle. We know that these characters will over come their predicament. There is no suspense to this. Have audiences been trained by superhero movies to see nothing but God-like heroes who will perform super human strengths that they can’t relate to, but they love to see kick bad people butt. Is the blue collar hero dead? What it comes down to is how much money super hero movies make, but don’t forget that Avatar is the biggest box office hit of all time and Jake Sully didn’t have super powers.

A New Generation

There is some good news, it seems like some movies are making characters who we can relate to. Take Tim for instance, the main hero in the new movie Detective Pikachu. He is just a college kid. That’s it, his only ability is he can talk to Pikachu (which isn’t know why, but we will find out when the movie opens). How many people can identify with going to school and trying to make your way into the world? Loosing a parent or not knowing where someone is? Those are very relatable situations, so when Tim is hurting, we can relate and it makes the pain more real to us. We feel what Tim is feeling.

Madison in the new Godzilla King of the Monsters is another example. She is just a sweet kid who is fascinated with monsters, (how many kids can relate to that)? She has trouble communicating and relating to her mom. Those are real struggles, and it helps when you have a character you can identify with. I am not saying every character has to be like this, but a little variety Hollywood goes a long way.

Conclusion

We are seeing less blue collar heroes right now, but as with all things, everything comes full circle and having characters like Tim and Madison is a good start. It is great to see ordinary people who we can relate to overcome relatable problems. There is a time and place for super human characters performing super human feets of strength, but there is also a place for regular people who can overcome relatable problems as well. All things in moderation Hollywood, that will make everyone happy.

Photo Courtesy of: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue-collar_worker